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Parking enforcement

On this page, you can find out about parking fines, and why we have to keep traffic moving in the borough and junctions free from parked cars. You can also download a copy of our enforcement contract with NSL Services.


We have a duty to keep junctions free of parked cars so that pedestrians can see when it is safe to cross and motorists have a clear view of traffic and pedestrians. Illegal parking can also cause delays to traffic and block access for the emergency services.

In addition to the road safety aspects there is a very high demand for parking space in Islington. Residents, businesses and visitors all want somewhere to park and controlled zones and restriction help allocate space in the fairest way. In order to ensure people are parking where they should we have to patrol and penalise vehicles that are parked where they shouldn't be.  

Local authorities in London are empowered to enforce against illegally parked vehicles following the decriminalisation of parking offences under the Road Traffic Act 1991. Additional legislation over the years such as the Road Traffic Act 2004 has increased local authorities powers to enforce. Parking tickets may be issued by civil enforcement officers (CEOs) or CCTV camera operators.

Our contractor NSL Services provide staff who carry out parking enforcement.

Civil enforcement officers and CCTV operators undergo rigorous training before starting enforcement duties. Our contract monitoring teams closely monitor and regulate their performance.

Civil enforcement officers have no targets for the number of parking tickets issued, in fact, NSL Services are penalised for any wrongly issued tickets.

The locations of all the different types of parking bay we enforce can be found using our Interactive Map.

Red routes

Red routes are managed by Transport for London and are key arterial routes through London. These roads have red lines showing parking restrictions instead of yellow lines.

Unlike yellow lines, single and double red lines ban all stopping, parking and loading.

Double red lines apply at all times and single red lines usually apply during the working day and have signs showing when they operate.

Red route controls are enforced by the police and TfL enforcement staff. They are not enforced by staff working for Islington Council.

Off street parking enforcement

The council enforces two off-street car parks located at the Sobell Leisure Centre on Isledon Road, and in front of the RSPCA Harmsworth Animal Hospital on Sonderburg Road.

CCTV enforcement

London local authorities can issue parking tickets if a vehicle is seen by CCTV operators to be parking:

  • at bus stops
  • on pedestrian crossings
  • loading where restrictions apply.

If you are seen by CCTV parking in one of these locations illegally, you may receive a parking ticket by post.

If a PCN is issued, you will have the same rights of appeal as a ticket issued by a civil enforcement officer. The ticket will show photographs of your vehicle parked illegally. You can also view further still or moving digital images online.

There is a legal requirement that cameras used to enforce parking and bus lane contraventions by CCTV are certificated by the Secretary of State (moving traffic enforcement cameras do not currently need this approval). We had our certification renewed in October 2011. Copies of the approval letters (PDF) are is available to view from this website.  

Parking tickets (penalty charge notices or PCNs)

If your vehicle is illegally parked, or parked in contravention of parking regulations, you may be issued a Penalty Charge Notice, more commonly known as a parking ticket.

A parking ticket is charged as £130 or £80 depending on the seriousness of the offence. If you pay within 14 days of issue, a 50% discount applies. For details about which contraventions receive which level of penalty, see the Enforcement Protocol below.

If you do not pay or appeal, the charge will increase and the debt will eventually be registered and passed to a bailiff.

The parking ticket will show a contravention code (these are listed in our Enforcement Protocol), our contact details and give advice on how to pay or appeal or view images of the contravention. It will also state:

  • date and time of issue
  • location
  • the contravention code - the reason why the ticket was issued
  • vehicle registration
  • vehicle make and colour
  • civil enforcement officer number and signature

If you wish to appeal a parking ticket, follow the link ‘How to appeal’ on the left of this page.

If you wish to pay a parking ticket, follow the link ‘How to pay’ on the left of this page.

Differential parking penalties

A two-tier penalty structure exists meaning that less serious parking offences receive an £80 penalty whereas more serious contraventions cost £130. A 50% reduction applies if the ticket is paid within 14 days.

The higher rate £130 fines include parking:

  • in a bus lane
  • on pedestrian crossings
  • in safety zones outside schools
  • on yellow lines
  • moving traffic offences, such as taking a banned right turn.

Less serious offences that attract a lower fine of £80 include:

  • overstaying in a pay and display bay
  • not parking within the parking bay markings
  • re-parking in a short-stay bay within one hour of leaving.

Our enforcement contract

Enforcement of parking and moving traffic regulations in Islington is carried out of behalf of the council by an external contractor called NSL Services.  This contractor was selected in 2007 following a procurement process. Our contract with NSL Services can be downloaded from the bottom of this page, please note that the contract consists of eight separate documents.  

Parking legislation

There are a number of pieces of government legislation, which prescribe how parking management and enforcement must be conducted in Islington. The key pieces of legislation are listed below and can be located using the search engine on the Office for Public Sector Information website. Follow the link under Useful Websites.

  • Refuse Disposal (Amenity) Act 1978
  • Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 (as amended)
  • Road Traffic Act 1991 (as amended)
  • New Road and Street Works Act 1991
  • Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions Act 1994
  • London Local Authorities Act 1996
  • London Local Authorities Act 2000
  • The Road Traffic (Owner Liability) Regulations 2000
  • London Local Authorities and Transport for London Act 2003
  • Traffic Management Act 2004

Traffic management orders (TMOs)

A Traffic Management Order is a legal document we are required to produce whenever we want to put new parking restrictions in place or amend existing ones. As part of producing an order we consult with stakeholders such as the fire service and local residents.

Our most recent TMO notices are available for public view here.

If you would like further information on how to obtain a copy of an existing TMO please contact us directly by email (

Please note that there may be a charge if copies of TMOs are required.